IPROF Management Roundtable

Making included network printing
better on MPE/iX 5.5

Q: The network printing support that arrives with MPE 5.5 has numerous flaws and functionality differences compared to serial printing.What is the likelihood that these issues will ever be fixed, so that network printing will be as smooth and reliable as serial printing?

Jim Sartain: How many people are actually using MPE 5.5? Looks like a good majority of the audience. That’s great, because we know this was one of the most highly requested features. How many are using 5.5 and network printing? It looks like maybe half of the people on 5.5.

We saw this was a very popular feature. We tried to come out with the basic functionality to support LaserJet printers using a JetDirect card, and we knew we’d have some problems. We have been addressing some issues. There have been some bug fixes. Some have been released. Some are in the works, and we continue to work out some of these issues.

But I think what I’d like to do is work directly with Mark [Bixby, who posed the question] on these specific issues and be clear about the status. Maybe I can post something on HP3000-L that says what we’ve seen, what we’ve addressed, and what we plan to address.

Rick Gilligan: Could I modify your question to be that “if it worked as we kind of think it should.” I’m not talking about adding major functionality, just the defect fixes. I’d raise my hand, but if you’re not really going to fix the defects I go, well, I’m not raising it.

Jim Sartain: So you’re saying you think it’s a reliability issue, not a functionality issue?

Rick Gilligan: For me and for the clients that I have, they’re all willing to live with either the functionality as pretty much intended to be, once the defects are gone, or they will upgrade, or some of them already have NBSPOOL, or they discontinued that particular product, because they had very basic printing needs. It works for them and they see that it is much simpler in their environment than it is to do the equivalent functionality of some of the third party products. But if they have more diverse needs they certainly willing and always were willing to use third party products.

Jim Sartain: But that kind of underscores our original intent – to provide basic functionality . I’m glad to hear that the issue isn’t that you think we need to expand the functionality we provide, because we have no intent of trying to replicate the fine functionality that’s available from people like Minisoft. We’ll try to work out the kinks.

Q. I’ve been waiting since the first release of the JetDirect cards which were supposed to allow the use of various paper trays on the printer, and it doesn’t work either.

Jim Sartain: Does someone know, is that PCL capability? Because the intent was to support printers that are PCL level 5 compliant or later.

Jeff Kell from UTC: I think one of the issues there was with the paper tray. If you use any environment files, or any other setup information, it always uses the default parameters of the printer.

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